JULY 2019 - STAFF READING SUGGESTIONS
LOTS OF GREAT SUMMER READS!

PARIS, 7 A.M.
by Liza Wieland

This beautifully written novel explores the life of renowned poet, Elizabeth Bishop in 1937, as she and her college roommates embark on a journey to Paris looking for adventure. Elizabeth struggles with her identity, as she is haunted by the fact that her mother spent most of her childhood and young adulthood in an institution. Elizabeth finds herself enveloped by several expatriates who pull her along in a life changing adventure, as the dark cloud of war looms over Paris. A captivating read!
-Maxwell Gregory
AFTER THE END
by Clare Mackintosh

In Clare Mackintosh's latest novel parents Max and Pip are forced to make an impossible decision; whether to continue their son's treatment for a brain tumor in the face of a grim prognosis.  What follows is an emotional journey that divides the couple as a court has to decide what is best for their beloved son, Dylan.  The second part of the book shows us what would happen in either scenario; if Pip "won" the case, as well as if Max did.  Either outcome is heartbreaking, but I found it hopeful too.  This would be great for book clubs!
-Di Grumhaus
NEVER HAVE I EVER
by Joshilyn Jackson

Fans of Little Fires Everywhere will devour this riveting read!  When a beautiful, bold woman and her child move into the neighborhood, secrets spill and lives are upended.  Who is she, and how far will her manipulations take this group of friends?  Reading this felt like watching a predator go after its prey.  Deliciously dark but with a solid dose of humanity, Never Have I Ever is one of my favorites of the year.
-Beth Mynhier
CITY OF GIRLS
by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is the story of Vivian Morris who was once told that she would never be an interesting person.  What a false prophecy that turns out to be!  When Vivian is kicked out of Vassar in 1940 she heads to NYC to live with her aunt at the Lily Playhouse, where Vivian uses her talents as a seamstress to make and design costumes.  This novel is jammed with terrific characters, great one-liners, gorgeous clothing and an authentic wartime atmosphere.  I really enjoyed reading this and would easily recommend it!
-Maxwell Gregory
THE BRITISH ARE COMING: THE WAR FOR AMERICA, LEXINGTON TO PRINCETON, 1775-1777
by Rick Atkinson

I am a history buff.  However, some authors read better (and easier) than others.  Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Rick Atkinson stands out head-and-shoulder above the rest.  This first volume in a proposed Revolutionary War historical trilogy reads as easily as a novel without sacrificing on content (detail).  Beginning precisely where the title depicts, the history easily flows within context of concurrent American and European events and via letters, writings and historical  accounts of both prominent players and obscure historical figures.  It is a tome at 751 pages.  The prologue itself is 35 pages and the comprehensive documentation consisting of notes and bibliography at the end number at least 200 pages.  Do not fear!  You will not get bogged down.  I can highly recommend this book.
-Ninos Joseph
THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA
by J. Ryan Stradal
(Releases July 23, 2019)

I loved this compelling and big-hearted Midwestern multi-generational family saga.  When Helen receives the the full inheritance from the proceeds of the family farm, she forges a path to create one of the biggest breweries in the country, while her sister Edith struggles through her small town life.  Edith's granddaughter Diana is offered the opportunity to learn the art of beer making from a local craft brewer, which alters the course of her life and eventually Edith's as well.  Like a good lager, these quirky, yet lovable characters grow on you and leave you wanting more.
-Maxwell Gregory
ON EARTH WE ARE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS
by Ocean Vuong

This is a novel written as a letter to a mother who cannot read from her son, Little Dog.  In this beautifully written novel, Little Dog takes us through life with his uneducated, war-affected Mother, covering topics from his male friend turned first lover, his relationship with his complicated Grandmother and through this we see trauma, family ties, sexuality and experimentation collide.   Vunog's background in poetry makes this novel read like a tender and brilliant ballad.   Timely in its discussion of sexuality, drug abuse and how war shapes not only those who survived them, but the generations to come.   What is the trickle-down effect on our bodies and minds of surviving horrific events?
-Morley Vahey
THE NICKEL BOYS
by Colson Whitehead

Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead returns with a dark, tragic story based on The Dozier School for Boys that actually operated in Florida for nearly 100 years.  Told through the eyes of Elwood and Turner, who arrive during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, they learn that this reform school which is tasked with providing "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the students can become "honorable and honest men" couldn't be further from the harsh reality that exists there.  Harrowing, yet profound, Whitehead shines his light on a horrifying chapter in American history.  Truly a must read, I cannot stop thinking about this powerful book.
-Di Grumhaus
THE CHAIN
by Adrian McKinty

Get ready for your worst nightmare to to come true in this emotionally engrossing and hair-raising thriller, as it pulls you into its dark and tangled web.  You are now part of The Chain and there is no escape.  You must do exactly as you are told and you can tell no one.  There is NO escaping them.  How far do you think you would be willing to go to save your child?  I could not put this down!
-Maxwell Gregory
BURN THE PLACE
by Iliana Regan

In her powerful and honest memoir, Michelin-starred chef, Iliana Regan takes us on her journey from her family farm in Indiana; where she learns to hunt and forage, through her struggles with her sexuality and addiction, to her ultimate goal of owning her own Chicago-based restaurant, Elizabeth.  Both gritty and raw, Regan's writing is as memorable as the food she creates.
-Maxwell Gregory
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
A DOUBLE LIFE
by Flynn Berry
FOE
by Iain Reid
THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL
by Abbi Waxman
THE CAREGIVER
by Samuel Park
THE FALL OF WISCONSIN: THE CONSERVATIVE CONQUEST OF A PROGRESSIVE BASTION AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN POLITICS
by Dan Kaufman
THE POPE WHO WOULD BE KING: THE EXILE OF PIUS IX AND THE EMERGENCE OF MODERN EUROPE
by David I. Kertzer
SMALL FRY
by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
WHISKEY WHEN WE'RE DRY
by John Larison
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